Zacks Investment Research Upgrades MasterCard Inc. (MA) to “Buy”
MasterCard Inc. (NYSE:MA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $117.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 10.44% from the company’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “MasterCard remains well positioned for growth given its expansion & digital initiatives. Also, gradual shift to electronic payments from paper-based forms should drive revenue growth. The company’s third-quarter 2016 earnings per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and were up year over year. MasterCard’s product-diversification and geographic-expansion initiatives augur well for the long term. Its multiple acquisitions over the past couple of years are also boosting inorganic growth. The proposed acquisition of major stake in VocaLink will strengthen its electronic payment capabilities. Increased cross-border volumes, improved pricing, growth of processed transactions and a vast global business continue to drive growth. However, the company is challenged with soft investment results, the integration of acquired companies, escalating costs, a challenging forex environment as well as litigations.”
MA has been the subject of several other research reports. Robert W. Baird restated an “outperform” rating and set a $115.00 price target on shares of MasterCard in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Barclays PLC upped their price target on shares of MasterCard from $103.00 to $107.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Citigroup Inc. upped their price target on shares of MasterCard from $106.00 to $108.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price target on shares of MasterCard from $108.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated an “outperform” rating and set a $128.00 price target (up previously from $120.00) on shares of MasterCard in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. MasterCard has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $110.90.
MasterCard (NYSE:MA) opened at 105.94 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $115.43 billion, a PE ratio of 29.29 and a beta of 1.22. MasterCard has a 12 month low of $78.52 and a 12 month high of $108.93. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $103.35 and its 200-day moving average is $97.57.
MasterCard (NYSE:MA) last issued its earnings results on Friday, October 28th. The company reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $2.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.74 billion. MasterCard had a net margin of 38.11% and a return on equity of 69.11%. The firm’s revenue was up 14.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.91 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that MasterCard will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 9th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 10th were given a $0.19 dividend. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.72%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, October 5th. MasterCard’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 20.99%.
In related news, Director Richard Haythornthwaite sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $101.78, for a total value of $508,900.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 52,423 shares in the company, valued at $5,335,612.94. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Robert Reeg sold 6,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.81, for a total value of $628,860.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 47,501 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,978,579.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.14% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MA. ETRADE Capital Management LLC increased its position in MasterCard by 21.3% in the third quarter. ETRADE Capital Management LLC now owns 30,860 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,141,000 after buying an additional 5,427 shares in the last quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. increased its position in MasterCard by 18.8% in the third quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 76,177 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,750,000 after buying an additional 12,081 shares in the last quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in MasterCard during the third quarter worth approximately $20,205,000. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its position in MasterCard by 10.4% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 43,801,206 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,457,649,000 after buying an additional 4,111,803 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC increased its position in MasterCard by 6.7% in the third quarter. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 12,069 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,214,000 after buying an additional 755 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.02% of the company’s stock.
MasterCard Company Profile
MasterCard Incorporated is a technology company that connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses across the world. The Company operates through payment solutions segment. The Company allows user to make payments by a range of payment solutions and services using various brands, which include MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus.
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